Jen Balkus

Clinical Associate Professor, Epidemiology


PhD Epidemiology, University of Washington, 2012
MPH Epidemiology, University of Washington, 2005
BA Women Studies, Wesleyan University, 2000


Public Health Seattle and King County
401 Fifth Avenue
Suite 1250
Seattle, WA 98104


Dr. Balkus (she/her/hers) is an infectious disease epidemiologist whose work spans across the fields of sexual and reproductive health. She is the Senior Epidemiologist for the HIV/STI/HCV Program at Public Health – Seattle & King County. Her work in public health practice and research is centered in health equity and focusses on approaches to understanding which communities are most impacted by HIV, STIs and hepatitis C in King County and informing novel approaches for intervention and communication to reduce disease burden. Dr. Balkus is open to working with students who are interested in these topic areas who are seeking to gain experience in public health practice-related epidemiology. 

Previously, Dr. Balkus was core faculty in the Epidemiology Department where her research focused on sexual health across the lifecourse. She has expertise in conducting both clinical trials and observational studies, in the US and globally, and led multiple NIH-funded projects related to vaginal health and STIs among people assigned female sex at birth. In addition to her research, Dr. Balkus developed and taught undergraduate and graduate courses in the School of Public Health and served as the inaugural faculty co-chair or the Department’s Equity and Diversity and Inclusion Committee.

Research Interests

  • Vaginal microbiome
  • STI prevention
  • HIV risk prediction
  • Hormonal contraception
  • Women
  • Africa

Recent Publications (PubMed)

Assessing the daily natural history of asymptomatic Plasmodium infections in adults and older children in Katakwi, Uganda: a longitudinal cohort study.
(2024 Jan)
Lancet Microbe 5(1): e72-e80
Hergott DEB, Owalla TJ, Staubus WJ, Seilie AM, Chavtur C, Balkus JE, Apio B, Lema J, Cemeri B, Akileng A, Chang M, Egwang TG, Murphy SC

DELIVER: A Safety Study of a Dapivirine Vaginal Ring and Oral PrEP for the Prevention of HIV During Pregnancy.
(2024 Jan 1)
J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr 95(1): 65-73
Bunge K, Balkus JE, Fairlie L, Mayo AJ, Nakabiito C, Mgodi N, Gadama L, Matrimbira M, Chappell CA, Piper J, Chakhtoura N, Szydlo DW, Richardson B, Hillier SL

Building Indigenuity, Generating HIV Science: An HIV/AIDS Research Training Program for Undergraduate and Graduate Indigenous Scholars (BIG HART).
(2023 Oct 1)
J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr 94(2S): S60-S64
Balkus JE, Conde M, Lewin A, Walters KL

Centers for AIDS Research (CFAR) Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Pathway Initiative (CDEIPI): Developing Career Pathways for Early-Stage Scholars From Racial and Ethnic Groups Underrepresented in HIV Science and Medicine.
(2023 Oct 1)
J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr 94(2S): S5-S12
Greenberg AE, Wutoh A, Bowleg L, Robinson B, Magnus M, Segarra L, Simon P, Wutoh A, Blankenship K, Burke M, Okeke NL, Corneli A, Hussen S, Holliday RC, Ciaranello A, Ghebremichael M, Haberer J, Irvin R, Irvin N, Antoine DG 2nd, Chen Z, Momplaisir F, Jordan-Sciutto K, So-Armah K, Kuo C, Flanigan T, Sanchez M, Levine AD, Sluis-Cremer N, Koethe JR, Dash C, Pereira FA, Rice AP, Newell A, Dācus J, Wood C, Elopre L, Rana A, Pitpitan E, Stockman JK, Sauceda J, Marquez C, Robinson S, Chi BH, Balkus J, Walters K, Lewin A, Schoonmaker A, Wong E, Refsland E, CDEIPI Consortium: DC CFAR CDEIPI Coordinating Center:, DC CFAR:, Duke CFAR:, Emory CFAR:, Harvard CFAR:, Johns Hopkins University CFAR:, Miami CFAR:, Penn CFAR:, Providence/Boston CFAR:, Rustbelt CFAR:, Tennessee CFAR:, Texas D-CFAR:, Third Coast CFAR:, UAB CFAR:, San Diego CFAR:, UCSF CFAR:, UNC CFAR:, UW/Fred Hutch CFAR:, NIH CFAR Program Office:

Demand for medication abortion among public university students in Washington.
(2023 Aug 10)
J Am Coll Health
Riley T, Godfrey EM, Angelini E, Zia Y, Cook K, Balkus JE

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